Latest posts by Obelixx


Posted: 09/04/2016 at 23:01

We organised our own as we were visiting friends in Manley Heights and Canberra but also wanted to see a bit of Queensland, Barrier Reef, Uluru, Alice Springs and Adelaide.   We did the Ghan train between those last two which was fun but expensive given that its a lot of bare earth and one lone tree full of parakeets and with cattle in its shade looks the same as the next and there's a lot of just that between the two places but not much else.

Depends what you want to see and how long you've got.

No Gardeners World and

Posted: 08/04/2016 at 20:42

I think you need to go and stand in the naughty corner.

No football is proper - IMHO - and is never reason to cut another programme, let alone our 30 precious minutes of gardening, but there is absolutely no justification for your discriminating between one form or t'other of the unlovely game.

HELLO FORKERS April 2016 Edition

Posted: 08/04/2016 at 20:26

Well done on the runaway pram DK.

I can still remember my mum fuming for being done for 33mph in a 30 limit when I was in my teens so many moons ago.

We are in the Vendée at the mo and, as we set off last Saturday, I had a stern lecture from OH about not getting anymore speeding fines.  We got one each at the same spot in the Charente last summer so I have been very careful but he uses cruise control and it doesn't always react fast enough.  We'll see.   Anyway here they are kind enough to deduct 10% from you speed reading in case your own speedometer is faulty and then they fine you on the remaining difference above limit.   No points as we have Belgian plates.

drainage holes at the bottom of the planters

Posted: 08/04/2016 at 20:18

Agree about the cones.  I use fibrous mats to line hanging baskets with a piece of plastic cut from a compost bag inside to come up no more than halfway up teh sides.  The fibrous liner - sold for purpose in good garden centres - holds in the compost and the plastic sheet creates a reservoir effect so they retain water and don't dry out too fast.

Be aware though that hanging baskets still need watering morning and evening in hot spells and once a day throughout the height of summer.

aisian foods

Posted: 08/04/2016 at 13:41

Lots of different kinds of Chinses cabbage and also Japanese and Vietnamese leaves.   For thinks like pak choi the advice is often to sow late in mid-summer as it will be less prone to bolting but if you can grow it out of full sun earlier sowings should be fine.  There are also interesting Chinses broccolis to try - finer stems and heads than the big headed ones.   For later on in the year, purple sprouting broccoli is very good in oriental dishes but has a  longer growing season than the leafy veg so it's down to space, times and experimenting really..

Pinch out Clematis?

Posted: 07/04/2016 at 22:27

It's a question of size.   New clems need to be big enough for you to plant them 4"' deeper than they were in their pots.  If yours are small and in 4" pots clearly they need to be grown on a few pot sizes.   However, if they're in a pot between 9 and 12 inches deep (standard clem pot size sold by nurserymen here) and they have 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90cms) of stems, then you can plant them out.

Even so, I find clems can take a year or two to establish and sometimes disappear before reappearing so I now pot mine on into minimum 40cm wide and 50cm deep pots for at least a year so they can get a good root system established before I plant them out.  They need watering and feeding but the end result is worth it.

Pinch out Clematis?

Posted: 07/04/2016 at 20:59

As long as you've planted your clematis deep enough and pruned it back to a pair of buds it is best to leave it.   The fact of burying it deep will encourage extra shoots to form from below ground and it will do this year on year.

They can take a year or two to get their roots established before they take off so be patient.   Stick to its appropriate pruning régime and it will be fine.   

Remember to feed it generously every spring and make sure it never dries out.  They don't want to drown but they are thirsty, hungry plants and need to be fed and watered till well established and they've got their roots down.

A new career.

Posted: 06/04/2016 at 18:33

Having given up my career when we moved to Belgium I now wonder how I ever found time to go to work!  Gardening, garden group (which I run), sewing, patchwork group (beginner level for me), dancing (president of local club offering 6 different classes at several levels), social life, walking dogs keeping house, student daughter - not necessarily in that order but no time for anything else at the mo.

HELLO FORKERS April 2016 Edition

Posted: 06/04/2016 at 18:22

I seriously dislike tofu - taste and texture - so, when cooking veggie meals I balance pulses and rice or pasta or bread to get protein or use quinoa or cheese.    There's a really good veggie cookery book by the Pru Leith school of cookery which I got years ago in a remainder sale.  Brilliant recipes for baked fennel with goat's cheese and roast peppers and mushroom thingies.

I once irretrievably broke two bottom molars on a rogue peanut in a broccoli and bacon salad with peanuts.  Cost me €2000 for two crowns!   Expensive peanut!  

Guinness is very good in a chocolate cake but is otherwise only good for feeding pumpkins IMHO or maybe a beef stew but not if you live in Belgium and can get Trappist beer.

Exhausting day today exploring the Vendée.   The doglets think they have to save their car from any rat/cat/proper dog/man in fluorescent jacket working on the roads/cyclist who gets too close.........   Very pretty countryside and villages with primroses and cowslips in lots of hedgerows and lots of green fields and streams/rivers/small and large lakes.


Can you have too many different plants?

Posted: 05/04/2016 at 21:20

I seem to recall the original comment was about limiting the number of plants in one bed but, as ever, a garden can be many things and some are only as big as one bed in someone else's garden.

I do think it's a good idea to limit the different plants and play with colours and texture in blocks or drifts rather than "dot" planting where everything gets lost in the melée.  3 of one plant looks so much better than one each of three plants in the same space especially if space is tight.   

However, it is our own garden situation and our own taste and our own budget and skills that must rule and not what anyone else thinks or says.   We can always re-arrange plants and swap them in and out till happy with the result. 

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